The sales function has changed drastically! It is now more specialized than ever and it takes a greater understanding of your sales process to hire the right type of salesperson for your business. In order to ensure you are hiring the right sales person for your business, first identify your goal, your budget and then start hiring
- Goal: Hiring a salesperson is a strategic decision and depends on your goals. Is it feeding the top of the funnel? Following up on leads and closing them? Solely focusing on closing deals? How long is your sales cycle? What level of experience might you need for your sales cycle? There is a lot to consider before hiring a salesperson.
- Budget: Salespeople are expensive! Their base salaries can range from $50,000 right up to $150,000 for an individual contributor. Your revenue, funding and runway, will decide what kinds of salesperson you can hire now or if you need to wait till you have a greater budget.
Sales Development Representative(SDR/BDR):
You should hire a SDR if the goal is to create more opportunities at the top of the sales funnel.
- Role: The primary role of a Sales Development Representative (SDR/BDR) is to generate new leads and set up initial meetings or demos for an Account Executive or in this case you as the business owner. They spend most of their time, reaching out to prospects, researching target accounts, and nurturing relationships with potential customers. They are responsible for outbound prospecting such as making cold calls or sending emails to potential customers, as well as inbound lead follow-up. They play a critical role at the top of the sales funnel.
- Success Measures:: They are measured by their outreach and the number of meetings they set. Outreach includes the number of emails, LinkedIn messages, outbound or inbound calls made per day. All this input must result in output, which in this case is the number of meetings they set per week.
- Cost: SDR's command a base salary between $50,000 and $65,000 plus commissions.
Account Executive (AE):
You should hire an AE if your goal is to win new customers
- Role: They are responsible for closing deals and sometimes growing existing customer relationships. They take over after the SDR has qualified a lead and set up a meeting or a demo with them. AE’s focus on building relationships with decision makers, understanding their needs, and presenting solutions that address their pain points. The AE’s goal is to turn qualified leads into paying customers and to ensure customer satisfaction and retention.
- Success Measures: They are measured by the number of demos they take per week, based upon your sales cycle they could also be measured on the number of proposals sent, number of contracts in negotiation and most importantly the revenue they bring to your business.
- Cost: AE salaries range between $75,000 and $150,000 plus commissions. This broad range is dictated by the segment you are selling to such as small businesses, mid size or enterprise companies, your sales cycle and your average deal size
In summary, SDR’s focus on lead generation and qualification, while AE’s focus on closing deals and account management. Both roles are important for the success of a sales organization.